#181: How to get your music on Spotify playlists, Pt 2

The first step in establishing a playlisting presence on Spotify is to create your own playlists, seed them with your own music, and attract followers. But what works? What’s a waste of time? How do you get Spotify to take notice? In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk about their own recent playlisting experiences and…

#180: How to get your music on Spotify playlists, Pt 1

Getting your music onto a popular Spotify playlist is the modern-day equivalent of having a hit song in a local radio market. It’s an important step in reaching a larger following, and it can drive significant revenue. But you don’t just GET a song placed in a curated Spotify playlist. You need to work your…

#179: How I got 50,000 views in 3 days

Checking the data — it’s probably NOT the most inspiring aspect of your music career, right? But the key to success could be waiting just below the surface of those daily reports and analytics. You just need to make a habit of looking, noticing the trends, and adjusting to the unexpected. That’s what Kevin Breuner…

#178: Your questions and our answers

We love getting listener feedback, whether it comes in on our listener line, by email, or in comments and tweets. As 2016 nears its close, Kevin and Chris use this final episode of the year to answer listener questions, recap some big music streaming news, and more. Happy holidays!

#177: Musician’s guide to conquering the holidays

“Christmas time is here again,” as the Beatles once sang, bringing with it a huge spike in music sales, streaming activity, concert opportunities, YouTube ad revenue, tablet and smartphone purchases, and more. Is your music ready to conquer Christmas this year? In this episode, Kevin and Chris draw up plans for you to make the…

#176: Ari Herstand – 26 things to do before you release your song or album

Are you really ready to release your new music? In the frenzied juggling act that leads up to the launch of a new song or album, it’s easy to miss some crucial things, or let them slip through the cracks because you’re over-eager, under-prepared, or just not properly informed. In this episode, DIY musician and musician…

#175: The Authentic Artist Branding Bootcamp (DIY Musician Podcast Live!)

Most musicians are terrible at telling their story and describing their sound. Why? We’re inside the music AND the mind that made it, so it’s easy to lose perspective. But a band that has a solid grasp on their branding has a huge advantage over acts that don’t. In this episode, taped live at the…

#174: 12 Tips for a Better Band Website

You don’t need to completely redesign your website to keep your fans engaged. Sometimes all it takes is a few simple tweaks. In this episode, Kevin and Chris discuss 12 tips that will help you get the most out of your current website — plus big streaming news (and a major discount on web hosting and…

#173: Kevin Breuner – Cutting Through the Noise

Kevin Breuner

How do you get music noticed in a world that has become so noisy? Is it possible to get anyone’s attention in an age where we’re bombarded with constant messaging and information? In his opening keynote for the 2016 DIY Musician Conference, Kevin lays out the foundation for cutting through the noise and getting people…

#172: The 2016 DIY Musician Conference Preview

Deep voice: “In a world where one thousand independent musicians take over a historic and haunted hotel in the heart of downtown Chicago for the weekend…” For this episode, Kevin and Chris give a preview of the DIY Musician Conference and talk about the moments they’re most looking forward to. Plus big music streaming news.

#171: 10 mistakes you might be making with your music right now

We like to think we’re unique as snowflakes, but we musicians can be pretty similar when it comes to the mistakes we (continue to) make. In this episode, Kevin and Chris discuss 10 common errors and oversights many DIY artists are guilty of. Are you guilty too? Plus, news about SoundCloud albums, Spotify playlists, the…

#170: How to deal with negative press and bad reviews

Bad reviews, negative YouTube comments, hecklers: we all experience them from time to time. Criticism is an inevitable part of putting your music out there, but still it always seems to hurt. What are some productive ways to deal with criticism? In this episode, Chris and Kevin talk about the good and bad ways in…

#169: Cathy Heller – Selling songs for sync licensing

Want your songs placed in TV and film productions? Had success in sync licensing, but you’re looking to secure higher-profile placements? In this episode, Kevin talks with Cathy Heller, an independent artist who quit trying to “make it” in music via the traditional route, and focused instead on sync licensing, becoming a go-to source for…

#168: 6 tips for making a no-budget music video

A music video is a practically required these days when promoting new music. But most DIY artists don’t have a budget left for video production after all the expenses of recording, manufacturing, and distributing an album. How can you create a no-budget music video? In this episode, Chris and Kevin talk about six principles for…

#167: The 4 pillars of a successful performance

Just because you wrote a song and happen to be standing on a stage doesn’t make you a great performer. Captivating a live audience is a skill all its own, one that you must learn and practice — just like your instrument. In this episode, performance coach Tom Jackson reveals the 4 pillars of a…

#166: The singles vs. album release debate

Once upon a time, the single ruled. Then, for almost half a century, the album dominated. Now that the means of distribution are in YOUR hands, which format makes the most sense for your music? In this episode, Kevin and Chris each pick a side of the argument — singles vs. albums — and discuss…

#165: Are exclusive blog features worth it?

Blog premieres and exclusives have become a ubiquitous way of promoting new music, but are they WORTH it? Some blogs are putting an end to the practice on their own sites, and many musicians are starting to weigh the pros and the cons of exclusivity. In this episode, Chris and Kevin talk about a series…

#164: Is “marketing” destroying your music career?

Music Marketing: it’s either the art of effectively communicating your story to potential fans or it’s an utter waste of time spent staring at computer monitors and smartphone screens. How can you tell the difference? How can you tell if your marketing “strategy” will lead you on a path towards success? In this episode, Kevin…

#163: Justin Evans – How LANDR instant mastering works

Audio mastering is often the last, mysterious step in preparing a new song or album for mass consumption. That’s if you’re lucky. A lot of artists skip the mastering process for various reasons (time, budget, etc.), and the end results suffer. Now with the automated mastering service LANDR, you can instantly master a track, compare…

#162: Becky Yee – Are your artist photos a barrier or gateway to your music?

Like it or not, photography plays a huge part in how people HEAR your music. Yep, it’s true. Visuals are often the introduction to your artist story, and to the story of your music too. In this episode, talented commercial photographer Becky Yee tells us how to find a good photographer, set up a productive…

#161: How to double your merch sales overnight!

Want to move twice as many CDs at your next show? Hear all about the merch-table makeover that happened for Chris Robley during his seven-night residency last month, and how switching a few simple things around made a huge difference. In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk merch tips, pet peeves, and more — plus…

#160: Budi Voogt – How to market your music on SoundCloud

SoundCloud provides artists with a unique ecosystem in which to promote music and build an audience. But like with most online tools, the more musicians that use SoundCloud, the harder it is to cut through the noise. In this episode, Budi Voogt, author of The SoundCloud Bible, provides some tips and tricks for using the…

#159: Musical goals and predictions for the biz in 2016

What are your music goals for 2016? Do you work best when other people can hold you accountable? We do too. That’s why in this episode, Kevin and Chris each list a few things they hope to accomplish with their music-making in the year ahead. Plus, some guesses at what the music industry will look…

#158: Top 5 album release mistakes

Putting out a new album is a rare opportunity to rally fans, the press, and other segments of the industry around your music and your story. It took a lot of work to get your album ready for release, so don’t squander a chance for promotion and sales that only comes around once in a…

#157: The Star Wars Episode – What artists can learn from epic mistakes!

With Star Wars, George Lucas built an epic cultural touchstone, and then later left fans feeling betrayed by a series of epic fails. What can musicians learn from his creative mistakes? Lots! Travel with Kevin and Chris to a galaxy far, far away — where you’ll learn the ways of The Force, and pilot your…